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NEW HOPE MMD ASKS COURT TO DISMISS CONTEMPT BID

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

MMD national secretary Elizabeth Chitika has asked the Lusaka High Court to discharge the committal proceedings launched by the Webby Chipili camp for being incompetent.

Ms Chitika has also submitted that Mr Chipili and 19 others calling themselves Operation Save MMD were not members and have no locus standi in the matter.

Mr Chipili and 19 others have sued MMD president Dr Nevers Mumba and Ms Chitika seeking a declaration that the extra ordinary convention held on March 20, this year is void and that the two breached the party constitution.

They also want the court to direct the Registrar of Societies to appoint an interim committee during the determination of the matter.

Last month, High Court Judge Mwape Bowa granted the 20 members leave to commence committal proceedings for contempt of court against Dr Mumba and Ms Chitika.

But Ms Chitika asked the Lusaka High Court to set aside the application for an injunction filed by the other camp for being irregular.

Ms Chitika has raised preliminary issues against the contempt process ahead of the hearing.

The issues raised include whether the court has jurisdiction to grant any orders in the contempt process in light of the pending application to set aside originating process for irregularity, which if successful affects the jurisdiction of the court.

And whether the court can entertain contempt proceedings against Reuben Sambo, Winnie Zaloumis, Clement Zulu and Gregory Mofu alleged contemnors who were not named in the exparte order of interim injunction signed on March 20, this year.

The other issue raised is whether it is competent to undertake contempt proceedings based entirely on conjecture without any proof of service of the court process being exhibited anywhere on the court record or in any affidavit.

She insisted in an affidavit supporting the preliminary issues raised that it is a fit and proper case to discharge and dismiss the committal process.

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